It is with great sorrow that we have to report the death of another actress who played one of the assistants in classic Doctor Who – Mary Tamm, who played the first incarnation of the Doctor’s Time Lord companion Romana.
Her agent Barry Langford announced that her death came after a long battle with cancer. He said: “She had a great zest for life. She was a fantastic actress – she played stage parts of such range, parts that would take your breath away. She could play any role, and do so wonderfully.”
Mary Tamm first appeared as Romana in the 1978 Tom Baker Doctor Who story, “The Ribos Operation” and accompanied him throughout the show's 26-episode sixteenth season, which concerned the search for the six pieces of The Key To Time.
As a Time Lord, Romana was a very different companion; cool, intellectual and elegant. But her (possibly) superior intellect to the Doctor’s was offset by her naivety in the ways of the big, bad universe outside of Gallifrey.
Mary Tamm was born on 22 March 1950, in Dewsbury, Yorkshire, and was of Estonian descent. She was a RADA graduate. Before Doctor Who she had appeared in movies such as The Odessa File (1973) and the film version of The Likely Lads (1976).
After leaving Doctor Who , she had a two year stint as Penny in the soap Brookside , and starred in the BBC series Paradise Heights , as well as making numerous guest appearances in shows such as EastEnders , Wire In The Blood , Jonathan Creek and Doctors .
She returned to the Doctor Who universe in 2005, appearing in Big Finish’s Gallifrey series of original audio dramas.
Mary Tamm added a real touch of class to Doctor Who , and we will miss her very much indeed. You were the noblest Romana of them all.
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